On Monday, we will celebrate two years of life and ministry in Las Vegas.
As you can imagine, I have so much to say about this.
Before I do, though, I want to re-post something I wrote in November 2010 (two months before we left Minnesota to start Advance Church) because my heart is still singing this same song. The verse has changed, of course, but the melody is steady.
Can you hear yourself in it, too?
When we left Arizona in 2005, a friend warned me about hanging the last picture in our Minnesota home. She told me to hold everything—our family, our house, our ministry—loosely because “just when you get around to hanging that last picture, God will call you somewhere else. He may even call you back to the desert.”
I remember laughing, but God never let me forget that conversation.
Maybe that explains why I procrastinated for five-and-a-half years when it came to decorating and “finishing” my home office. Or maybe that wise warning is what kept me acutely aware of the stored moving boxes that seemed to stare at me from their dusty perch in our garage rafters. Or perhaps it’s why I never bothered learning how to use the snow blower.
Whatever the case, my friend was right. Minnesota, it turns out, was just another stop along the way. An invaluable, would-do-it-again-in-a-heartbeat stop along the way, but a stop along the way nevertheless. And now the question everyone wants me to answer is, “Are you okay with that? I want to hear your heart in this.”
Not only am I okay with it, but I am bursting-at-the-seams ready to see God do the impossible through our family.
The same God who called us to–and has sustained us through–marriage, parenthood, seminary, Minnesota, and adoption in the last seven years is the same God who has commanded us to sell everything, leave everyone, and go to “the land I will show you;” to Shechem; to Nineveh; to Las Vegas.
Jesus has never failed us, and he isn’t about to start now. That much I know for sure. We’ve spent months and months counting the cost, and now it’s time to make our move; to take Jesus at is word and trust that he is for us. And if our God is for us, who can stand against us? (Romans 8:28-31)
So that is where my heart is, friends. It’s in the faithfulness of Jesus. And from that flows a kind of freedom I would give away everything for. Elisabeth Elliot puts it this way:
“We have something to respond to, something that directs and calls and holds us, and it is in obedience to the command that we will find our full freedom.”
I want nothing more than to be where God wants us to be—even if that means enduring a painful pruning process that leads us back to the desert. Our lives are to be an offering back to him, so it would seem that we can either give God our excuses, or we can give him our everything. As far as I can tell, there’s really no in between.
There never has been.
I’ll leave it at that for now, with a promise to start my own blog very soon as our response to God’s call intensifies. I am so (SO) excited to return to Summerlin (which I fell in love with in September) on Monday to find a house for our family and be re-united with three “friends” I’ve missed dearly from the west: In n Out’s burgers, Paradise Bakery’s cookies, and Vons’ Club Card.
Please pray that our trip is fruitful and that God continues to be glorified through our family as January draws near.